Saturday, October 21, 2017

First Theme Park Hunger Games Area Now Open at Motiongate Dubai

The first ever theme park land based on The Hunger Games series has officially opened at Motiongate Dubai, a part of Dubai Parks & Resorts.  The above clip was released before the grand opening, but shows some of the area's two main attractions in operation.  Although the Hunger Games movies have already come and gone, the popularity around the franchise has many fans excited to see what Motiongate has created.

© Motiongate Dubai
The Hunger Games themed section is actually a subsection of the Lionsgate area, although the only operating attraction in that part of the park until now was a Step Up themed dance show.  The expansion features many icons from the series of Hunger Game films, several of which can be seen above and below in photos.

© Motiongate Dubai
There are two major attractions that just opened in The Hunger Games area, the first is a 4-D simulator style ride named Panem Aerial Tour.  Riders board a hovercraft that takes them on an exhilarating aerial tour of Panem which of course has plenty of surprises along the way, including interactions with the Capital's troops.

© Motiongate Dubai
The ride that many of our readers will be most interested in is the Capital Bullet Train, a launched roller coaster designed by Mack Rides.  I haven't found a lot of statistics for the coaster, but it looks to utilize boyj forward and backward launches to get up momentum to soar through the course.  From this photo, it appears as though the train probably launches forward up part way into the vertical loop, then backward up the spike, then forwards again through the full layout.  It looks like in addition to the vertical loop there is also a corkscrew in the mix.

The coaster has a compact layout but the use of multiple launches gives the attraction a marketability as a "thrill ride" that Motiongate Dubai has needed since it opened.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Worlds of Fun to Say Goodbye To Finnish Fling with Charity Fundraiser

© Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun has announced that when the park closes for the 2017 season, happening on October 29th, that will also mark the end of the Finnish Fling's time there.  The ride will be closed and removed before the start of the 2018 season - it originally opened with Worlds of Fun in 1973.

Finish Fling is a classic amusement park ride, known as a Rotor, where guests stand inside a large barrel that spins and holds them against the wall with centrifugal force as the floor below them drops out.  This type of ride gained popularity in North America at parks throughout the 1960s and 70s, when they opened at many major amusement and theme parks.  The majority of the permanent installations have already closed, with only a handful still operating at large parks across the country.  There's a great list on Wiki of parks that still have a Rotor, along with those that did but have since removed them.

© Worlds of Fun
Within Worlds of Fun, the Finnish Fling can be found inside the Scandinavia themed section.  Probably not coincidentally, the park has already announced that a brand new flat ride, Nordic Chaser, will join that land in 2018.  The ride can be seen on the park's map, above, in the lower left corner.

To give the ride a nice send off, the theme park will auction off the final three rides.  Fans can decide on which ride they want to be a part of, with different price levels available depending on which ride they choose.  All proceeds from the event will be donated to charities within the Kansas City area.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

California's Great America Provides First RailBlazer Construction Update

© California's Great America
Work on RailBlazer, an all new thrill roller coaster going into California's Great America in 2018, is well under way.  The park has shared an update on the innovative single-rail coaster, including construction of the ride's foundations.

But first, the park also posted the above photo of the first shipment of track for RailBlazer on its way to the park.  The lighting isn't perfect, but you can still see the stacked up orange track on the bed of the truck, and it looks like some of the pieces are pretty twisty!

This video was also just released, showing more of the early groundwork for the coaster.  The first support was just poured, and the video shows just exactly how deep the footers go.  The frame for the footer can be seen lifted and then placed deep into the ground, it's amazing to think how far down the foundations go!

The end of the video also better shows that first shipment of track after it arrived at the theme park and was unloaded.  The riding edge of the single rail track looks smooth as glass, and a big part of the ride's innovation is centered around that design.  With all wheels running on only one track, the ride is expected to give an extremely smooth ride experience.

RailBlazer will stand 106 feet tall, feature a vertical 90 degree plunge, three inversions and speeds of 52 miles per hour when it opens in Spring 2018.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Alabama Splash Adventure Expanding Kid's Water Areas for 2018 Season

© Alabama Splash Adventure
Alabama's Splash Adventure will spend $1 million in 2018 in order to add two new children's play areas to their ever-growing list of attractions.  Both will be located within the water park, and are designed to keep kids happy for hours on end.  The additions are part of $10 million in expansion that the park has completed since becoming family owned in 2014.

One area will feature five different slides, each offering a different experience - these can be seen above.  All the slides are meant for smaller kids, but will provide enough variety to keep them coming back.  The slides are being manufactured by Proslide and will empty into shallow water that's safe for the park's smaller visitors.

© Alabama Splash Adventure
Also joining the new slides will be a large sprayground play area, filled with dozens of interactive elements that can be accessed from a zero-depth entry point.  A concept image of a similar area to the one being built can be seen above, and it is being created by Vortex Aquatic Structures.

The expansion will also feature plenty of new seating for families along with some new cabana options.

Alabama's Splash Adventure is looking for help with naming their new play area, and are accepting submissions via their website.  The lucky winner who's name the park chooses will receive 4 2018 season passes. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California's Great America to Retire Loggers Run Flume Ride on October 29th

Another one bites the dust, sadly.  It was announced by California's Great America that their log flume, known as Loggers Run, will cease operations forever on October 29th.  That is the final day of California's Great America's regular season, with WinterFest still to come.

The park made the announcement by posting this video on social media:

As the video states, Loggers Run originally opened in 1976 and was designed by Arrow Dynamics - the manufacturer of most log flume rides in the U.S.  Sadly the useful life of many of these rides is ending, and we are seeing them removed more and more often.  This is sad, but understandable as the park has big plans for the future.

© Google Maps
Loggers Run is literally intertwined with Boomerang Bay, the theme park's included water park.  The flume runs around several of the slides, including Down Under Thunder, Tasmanian Typhoon and Didgeridoo Falls, boxing them in and also taking up real estate adjacent to them.

One would guess that the water park will be rethemed and renamed during the park's upcoming expansion, and the planning documents show additional water slides near where the flume runs today.  These factors combined probably sealed the fate Loggers Run.

Stop by the park over the new two weekends to take in your final rides!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Scott and Carol Present - Halloween Horror at Indiana Beach

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There's something new this fall on the shores of Lake Shafer. In the midst of the fog, Indiana Beach takes on a whole new look for the season of fright.

IB Crow takes over a store window to welcome the fearless to Halloween Horror at Indiana Beach.

Many of the residents change their makeup after the Trick or Treat Trail closes at 6:00 PM. The dance party starts off the scary stuff, and after a few quick pictures, they are off to there scare zones.

The walkway between Frank's Funhouse, aka Frankenstein's Castle and the Swinging Ship transforms into party central, and an occasional scar-actor passes through to terrify the crowd.

A mad scientist makes an appearance at Franks's  Funhouse

Here is the crew that brings horror to Indiana Beach, but also the delightful fun for those who want to dress up in costume and collect candy. Guests are invited to take home their own coffin memories.

Chemikill Spill is a very creative scare zone in daylight. The rains came in like a hurricane and we were not able to experience it after dark. Maybe next time.

For the Nightmare on Shafer Drive there are nice little pluses everywhere!

This couple looks like they are just dying for a good nights sleep

Luckily for you, this guy isn't responsible for whipping up the seasonal offerings like zombie pizza, with all the meats, or even bacon on a stick. And don't forget to try the deep fried red velvet Oreos and Mummy's fingers. Halloween never tasted so good.

Here is a group shot of the denizens of Nightmare on Schafer Drive with the lights on. They look a lot better in the dark, but then, it's easier for them to sneak up on you. The ballroom never raised pulses higher than the way this team works together to distract you before surprising you from another direction.

A great way to see another side of Indiana Beach, and this is just their first year. Our thanks to the fantastic folks at Indiana Beach and Apex. Hope you have hauntingly Happy Halloween!